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Solicitation of Legal

Services
MARK ANDREW CHUA
STEPHEN REY JACOBO

DEFINITION
Solicitation
is a petition for request, enticement or allurement.
Legal Services
Refers to an act of giving helpful activity regarding legal matters.

Reference:
Dictionary.reference.com/browse/service

APPLICABLE LAWS
x x x I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful
suit, or give aid nor consent to the same; I will delay no man for money or malice x x x

CANON 1- A lawyer shall uphold the constitution, obey the laws of the land and
promote respect for law and legal processes.
Rule 1.01- A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful
conduct.
Rule 1.03.A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or interest, encourage any suit or
proceeding or delay in a mans cause.

APPLICABLE LAWS
CANON 2- A lawyer shall make his legal services available in an efficient an
convenient manner compatible with the independence, integrity and
effectiveness of the profession.

Rule 2.03.A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designed
primarily to solicit legal business.

Rule 2.04.A lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those customarily
prescribed, unless the circumstances so warrant.

APPLICABLE LAWS
CANON 3- A lawyer in making known his legal services shall use only true,
honest, air, dignified and objective information or statement of facts.

Rule 3.01- A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent,
misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-laudatory orunfair statement or claim
regarding his qualifications or legal services.
Rule 3.04- A lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to representatives
of the mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract legal
business.

APPLICABLE LAWS
CANON 9- A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, assist in the unauthorized practice of law.

Rule 9.02- A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for legal services with persons not
licensed to practice law, except:

Where there is a pre-existing agreement with a partner or associate that, upon the latters death,
money shall be paid over a reasonable period of time to his estate or to the persons specified in the
agreement; or

Where a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer; or

Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer employees in a retirement plan, even if the plan is
based in whole or in part, on a profit sharing arrangement.

APPLICABLE LAWS
Rule 138- ATTORNEYS AND ADMISSION TO THE BAR

Sec. 20 Duties of attorney. - It is the duty of an attorney: (g) Not to encourage either the
commencement or the continuance of an action or proceeding or delay any mans cause,
from any corrupt motive or interest; xxx

Sec. 24 Compensation of attorneys; agreement as to fees- An attorney shall be entitled to


have and recover from his client no more than a reasonable compensation for his services,
with a view to the importance of the subject matter of the controversy, the extent of the
services rendered, and the professional standing of the attorney. No court shall be bound by
the opinion of attorneys as expert witnesses as to the proper compensation, but may
disregard such testimony and base its conclusion on its own professional knowledge. A
written contract for

APPLICABLE LAWS
services shall control the amount to be paid therefor unless found by the court to be
unconscionable or unreasonable.

Sec. 27 Disbarment or suspension of attorneys by Supreme Court; grounds therefor.


A member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended from his office as attorney by
the Supreme Court for any deceit , malpractice xxx. The practice of soliciting cases
at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers,
constitutes malpractice.

Rule 141- LEGAL FEES


Sec. 12. Notaries

1.Using deceptive qualifications or legal services


2.Soliciting by means of assistance of others
3.Advertising legal services
4.Charging lower legal rates
5.Misrepresenting as to a lawyers connection with a law firm
6.Using the media to attract legal services

Using deceptive qualifications or


legal services
CASE ONE

Synopsis: Respondent, in deceiving the complainant by assuring her that he could give her visa and travel
documents and that despite spurious documents nothing untoward would happen, is guilty of violating
Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility

SEBASTIAN vs. CALIS


314 SCRA 1

FACTS: Complainant alleged she was referred to the respondend Atty. Calis who promised to process all
necessary documents required for complainants trip to the USA for a fee of P150,000.

Using deceptive qualifications or


legal services
Upon arrival at the Singapore International Airport, complainant was apprehended by the Singapore
Airport Official for carrying spurious travel documents. Complainant contacted the respondent. From
September 6 to 9, 1994, complainant was detained at Singapore.

The complainant was deported to the Philippines and respondent fetched her from the airport
and brought her to his residence. Complainant then demanded for the return of her money.

HELD: Respondent is guilty of gross misconduct by engaging in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or


deceitful conduct contrary to Canon1, of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Respondent
deceived the complainant by assuring her that he could give her visa and travel documents; that
despite spurious documents nothing untoward would happen. All for material gain.

R. Rodriguez, The Fundamentals of Legal and Judicial Ethics, ed. p. 46 (2004)

Soliciting by means of
assistance of others.
TAN TEK BENG vs. DAVID
126 SCRA 389

The issue in this case is whether the disciplinary action should be taken against the lawyer David for not
giving Tan Tek Beng, a non lawyer, one half of the attorneys fees received by David from the clients
supplied by Tan Tek Beng. There agreement reads:
Dear Mr. Tan:
In compliance with your request, I am now putting into writing our agreement xxx:

1. On all commissions or attorneys fees that we shall receive from our clients by virtue of the
collection that we shall be able to effect on their accounts, we shall divide fifty-fifty. x x x
2. I shall not deal directly with out clients without your consent.

Very truly yours,

TIMOTEO A. DAVID

HELD: We hold that the said agreement is void because it was tantamount to
malpractice which is the practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of
gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers.(Sec. 27, Rule 138,
Rules of Court)
Same, p. 66

Advertising legal services


CASE ONE

Synopsis: For advertising his services in connection with his candidacy as provincial board member of the province of
Isabela, and in requesting that his services be disseminated in all meetings and social gatherings, respondent attorney
is suspended for one month.

IN RE: LUIS B. TAGORDA


53 Phil 37

FACTS: The respondent lawyer, Atty. Tagorda , a member of the provincial board of Isabela, admits that in the last
general elections he made use of a card written in Spanish and Ilocano, which, in translation, reads as follows:

LUIS B. TAGORDAAttorney; Notary Public; CANDIDATE FOR THIRD MEMBER, Province of Isabela. (NOTE.-As notary
public, he can execute for your a deed of sale for the purchase of land as required by the cadastral office; can renew
lost documents of your animals; can make new lost documents of your animals; x x x)

HELD: x x x Solicitation of business by circulars or advertisements, or by


personal communications or interviews not warranted by personal relations,
is unprofessional, and the commission of offenses of this character amply
justifies permanent elimination from the bar. x x x

Same, p. 69

Charging lower legal rates


To regulate the proper fees to a lawyer, Rule 138, Sec. 24 provides for a
standard by which a lawyer should charge his client. The rule provides:

Sec. 24 Compensation of attorneys; agreement as to fees- An attorney shall


be entitled to have and recover from his client no more than a reasonable
compensation for his services, with a view to the importance of the subject
matter of the controversy, the extent of the services rendered, and the
professional standing of the attorney. No court shall be bound by the opinion
of attorneys as expert witnesses as to the proper compensation, but may
disregard such testimony and base its conclusion on its own professional
knowledge. A written contract for services shall control the amount to be paid
therefor unless found by the court to be unconscionable or unreasonable.

Misrepresenting as to a lawyers
connection with a law firm
CANON 3- A lawyer in making known his legal services shall use only true, honest, air, dignified and
objective information or statement of facts.

Rule 3.01- A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive,
undignified, self-laudatory orunfair statement or claim regarding his qualifications or legal services.

Rule 3.02.In the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading or assumed name shall be used. The
continued use of the name of deceased partner is permissible provided that the firm indicates in all
its communications that said partner is deceased.

Rule 3.03Where a partner accepts public office, he shall withdraw from the firm and his name shall
be dropped from the firm name unless the law allows him to practice law concurrently.

Using the media to attract legal services


CANON 3- A lawyer in making known his legal services shall use only true,
honest, air, dignified and objective information or statement of facts.

Rule 3.04- A lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to representatives
of the mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract legal
business.

COMMON TYPES OF UNETHICAL


SOLICITATION OF LEGAL SERVICES
BARRATRY
It is the offense of frequently exciting and stirring up quarrels and suits, either at law or otherwise. The person who
engages in barratry is called a barretor or barrator.

MAINTENANCE
It is the intermeddling of an uninterested party to encourage a lawsuit. It is a taking in hand,a bearing up or upholding
or quarrels or sides, to the disturbance of the common right.

AMBULANCE CHASING
It is the lawyers act of chasing an ambulance carrying the victim of an accident for the purpose of talking to the said
victim or relatives and offering his legal services for the filing of a case against the person who caused the accident.

D. Funa, Legal and Judicial Ethics with Bar Examination Quesitons, p. 45


D. Funa, Legal and Judicial Ethics with Bar Examination Quesitons, p. 45
E. Pineda, Legal Ethics, p. 64

TYPES OF ADVERTISING OR
SOLICITATION NOT PROHIBITED
1.PUBLICATION IN A LAW LIST-Publication of reputable law lists, in a manner consistent with
the standards of conduct imposed by the canons, or brief biographical and informative data.

2.CALLING CARDS- The use of ordinary simple professional card. The card contain only a
statement of his name, the name of the law firm which he is connected with, address,
telephone no., and special branch of law practiced.
3.ANNOUNCEMENT IN OPENING A LAW FIRM- Publication or a public announcement of the
opening of a law firm or of changes in the partnership, associates, firm name or office
address, being for the convenience of the profession.

PENALTY
The penalty for an improper solicitation of legal services is provided by the
following rule:
Rule 138, Sec. 27 Disbarment or suspension of attorneys by Supreme Court;
grounds therefor. A member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended from
his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit , malpractice xxx.
The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either
personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice.

REFERENCES
1987 Philippine Constitution
1997 Rules of Court
Code of Professional Ethics
Ernesto Pineda, Legal Ethics
Dennis B. Funa, Legal and Judicial Ethics with bar examination questions
Rufus Rodrigues, Legal Ethics